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Remember When Switzerland Ruled the World of Household-Size Solar?

In our final excerpt from his new book on the history of solar power, Let It Shine, author John Perlin describes a key moment in the debate over big, centralized solar sites and smaller, distributed rooftop panels.

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How Ronald Reagan Turned Out the Lights on Solar Power

In an excerpt from his new book Let It Shine, John Perlin reveals how one of the first actions of the new Reagan administration was to dim the lights on what had been a promising start for an American solar energy program. Solar in the U.S. has yet to fully recover.

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Solar Has Been in Our Energy Portfolio for 6 Millennia

In an excerpt from John Perlin’s new book, Let It Shine: The 6,000 Year Story of Solar Energy, the solar guru explains how making use of the sun’s energy is anything but a new technology.

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Perhaps Archimedes Should Have Focused on Jaguars, Not Galleys

Solar concentrators are a hot weapon in the renewable energy arsenal. Except sometimes they really can be a weapon.

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If Only Renewable Energy Had a Smaller ‘But’

Wind and solar remain small components of the U.S. energy portfolio, but two new data points out this week suggest they’re starting to to hit their stride.

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Navajo Nation Builds Momentum for Renewable Energy

The U.S. Southwest is ground zero in the effort to transition America to an energy portfolio of renewables. What are the first steps, and who is making them?

Consistency Key to Renewable Energy Policy

A new report on funding renewable energy projects offers a primer on how policy decisions are best engineered to boost the industry.

Solyndra’s Problems Were More Politics Than Power

Analysis: Solar energy writer John Perlin argues that Solyndra’s fall from grace reflects a bad choice in technique, and not a fundamental problem with solar energy.

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Quick Studies

What Makes You Neurotic?

A new study gets to the root of our anxieties.

Fecal Donor Banks Are Possible and Could Save Lives

Defrosted fecal matter can be gross to talk about, but the benefits are too remarkable to tiptoe around.

How Junk Food Companies Manipulate Your Tongue

We mistakenly think that harder foods contain fewer calories, and those mistakes can affect our belt sizes.

What Steve Jobs’ Death Teaches Us About Public Health

Studies have shown that when public figures die from disease, the public takes notice. New research suggests this could be the key to reaching those who are most at risk.

Speed-Reading Apps Will Not Revolutionize Anything, Except Your Understanding

The one-word-at-a-time presentation eliminates the eye movements that help you comprehend what you're reading.

The Big One

One state—Pennsylvania—logs 52 percent of all sales, shipments, and receipts for the chocolate manufacturing industry. March/April 2014